By David Hummerston, an EO Melbourne member and the director of ETM Group, a corporate travel and event management company.
As the director of a corporate travel and event management company, I help my clients learn how to save money while traveling. Here are some top travel tips I share with clients to help them achieve their strategic travel and financial goals.
1. Understand your travel requirements. If you or your employees travel a lot, consider hiring a travel management company. They can compile detailed analysis on your travel patterns and average spending, as well as benchmark your performance against a similar-sized business and industry. Once a relationship has been established, determine the key factors for your traveling employees. Are you looking for flexibility, or do you prefer to work toward lower-cost options? Can you reduce the volume and frequency of your travel trips? A reputable travel management company can help you answer these questions.
2. Make sure the management company matches your culture. A travel management company that aligns with your culture and values will better understand your travel requirements and travelers’ needs. The right company will provide comprehensive reporting, experienced travel consultants and partnership support in working with you to determine cost-saving opportunities.
3. Annually review your travel policy and compliance. Regularly review and update your travel policy. If you do not have one, your travel management company can assist in creating and implementing a travel policy for your business. Ensure the policy is communicated and supported within the business. By reviewing and enforcing travel compliance, you can drive savings within your company.
4. Reduce your accommodation spending. Look to reduce your accommodation standards by one category; e.g., book a four-star hotel instead of a five-star one. Also, watch your accommodation leakage. Seek feedback from your team for possible savings, since they typically stay at these properties and can provide invaluable information on standard, service and value-added benefits. Finally, review your hotel locations and work toward reducing additional expenses—like taxi fares—by selecting properties close to the office or meeting.
5. Off-set and report your carbon emission. Are you currently reporting and off-setting your travel emissions by paying a taxdeductible donation? Add your carbon footprint information to your travel itinerary; this may encourage your team to consider the environmental impact their traveling is having on the planet.